Plumstead High Street’s £5.2 million regeneration: Just 16 per cent of shopfronts improved

Figures from Greenwich Council reveal that just 16 per cent of shopfronts in Plumstead have been improved as the project winds down.

They also revealed in an answer before a full council meeting tonight that £894,000 out of a total £5.2 budget was spent on shopfronts.

Lakedale Road after improvement work. Few shopfronts improved

Given how much already spent in other areas it’s possible there was no money to improve others whether desired or not.

Officers decided to allocate most funds from the Good Growth Fund on paying for a private business to move from Greenwich to the former power station.

Prominent corner site

That left little for the High Street and Lakedale Road particularly after consultant costs. Plans for a public market on that site were also dropped.

Along the High Street, the shopfront project was intended to remove dated and garish designs.

Plumstead shop front plans from 2020

Yet just as work completes on a meagre 16 per cent of shops, new signage has already appeared on a listed building elsewhere – and it doesn’t exactly fit the brief of what was supposed to happen across the area.

Signage applied on listed building

The overall project has been criticised from inception by the public and councillors at various meetings.

A 2022 meeting saw councillors ask why so much was being spent with so little to show for it.

One of the town’s best buildings seen on corner. Former bank supposed to have signage which respects building’s design quality.

Officers failed to give adequate answers last year on why so much of the run down High Street and Lakedale Road was being deprived of funds.

Council departments also failed to include the area around the station with 2,600 homes now underway across three sites in the nearby vicinity.

Link between new homes and Plumstead High Street via underpass remains a dumping ground

So not only did they fail to include the station area in improvement work under the Good Growth Fund but then failed to allocate any revenue from three nearby developments.

Cluttered and ugly approach to station

Here’s the famous new “Plumstead Plaza”. The trees already existed before work undertaken.

Are we by the Med? No son, it’s Plumstead. Could you imagine such riches just five years ago?

This section between the station and many shops remains a bit of a cluttered eyesore and untouched.

It’s not all bad though.

With the project now apparently complete there are some decent areas. Whether these will be maintained or simply become litter strewn and replaced by tarmac in a year as seen elsewhere remains to be seen.

If Abbey Wood is a guide, this will become tarmac soon

If Abbey Wood’s row of shops on Wilton Road is a guide, it wont last. Greenwich Council put tarmac put down this spring after upgrade work around four years ago.

Greenwich Council placed tarmac down in recent months

Woolwich is in line for landscaping as part of a £20 million pound project – but the council have shown little evidence of thinking ahead and maintaining public spaces.

Powis Street plans see extensive landscaping and street furniture limiting pedestrian space

On Plumstead High Street a revamped green space not too far from the station does look better than before.

Green space landscaped

But overall for Plumstead it’s a missed opportunity.

Some good work has happened such as clutter removal but that costs pennies in the grand scheme of a £5.2m improvement.

Lakedale Road after improvement works completed

Much of the High Street has not changed in terms of quality of street furniture, paving, general attractiveness and usability on foot nor have many buildings been touched.

Even where some changes have been undertaken such as new pavement, it’s been done in a clumsy and cheap manner.

Post improvement work. Landscaping location choice obstructs pedestrians in area of high footfall. Mismatched and dirty pavements. Bin full and spilling rubbish near landscaped area

With £5.2 million to play with, it should have ended up a hell of a lot better than this.

 

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

One thought on “Plumstead High Street’s £5.2 million regeneration: Just 16 per cent of shopfronts improved

  • In the picture outside Poundland, has somebody brought those three wooden chairs along, or are they part of the install? The triangle herb garden looks like a trip hazard waiting to happen.

    Reply

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